Slovak refinery gets green light for Ukraine exports

Exemption from sanctions to last until next December.

A new Slovnaft filling station near Nitra on June 17, 2022.A new Slovnaft filling station near Nitra on June 17, 2022. (Source: TASR - Henrich Mišovič)

The Slovnaft refinery in Bratislava has been given an exemption on EU sanctions on Russian oil which will allow it to export oil products to Ukraine.

An agreement had been previously reached for the refinery to export products to the Czech Republic as of February 5, the date sanctions are expected to come into place, next year.

The new exemption, which will allow it to supply to Ukraine from the same date, was secured after a deal reached in Brussels last week and a visit by Slovak officials to Kyiv.

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“Our recent visit with fellow Slovak ministers to Kyiv, where I discussed these matters with Ukrainian partners, also contributed to reaching this agreement,” Slovak Economy Minister Karel Hirman said at a press conference today.

The exemption, which is expected to remain in place until December 5, 2023, means that Slovnaft will not now be forced to reduce its production significantly. It had faced having to stop exporting products refined from Russian oil to most markets once the sanctions had come into force.

Slovakia, alongside with the Czech Republic and Hungary, is also temporarily exempted from an EU ban on Russian oil imports through the Druzhba pipeline.

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